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Aug 01, 2016 01:13PM ● By Ren Campbell

House Therapy : Sparkle!

Add it! I love that little bit of sparkle that happens almost by chance, almost unnoticeable, in my living room. At night with lamps lit or during the afternoon when the sun comes into the room it is delightful to look up and see the reflections in an old porcelain lamp with a gilt bronze base, the shine of brass on a floor lamp, or the shimmer on the glazing of a framed drawing. Look at your own living room and figure out exactly where your glimmering highlights are. Is there just enough? Too much? Maybe something needs to be moved, added, put away. Look for balance the same way you look for balance in other ways. Balance is an equal distribution of weight and our visual sense is very keenly aware of something that feels ‘right’ and something that feels ‘off.’ Right?

Windows! Clean them!  I hate to look out a window and see the dust and splatters which are inevitably there when I’m not paying attention. I hate cleaning windows more, so you can only imagine…so the lesser takes precedence and I do the cleaning for the sake of having sparkling sunlight. It really does make a difference. That said, my kitchen is sparkling and my living room curtains are drawn at night!

Just enough, not too much! That’s right, keep it simple and you will succeed, even for you Maximalists (see “balance” above.) Follow Coco Chanel’s guidelines on jewelry and you will be fine – when you are done dressing, remove one thing. It will work for you. The accessories in your house are the jewelry of your home. And if you just love glitter – I say go for it! Mirrors, gilt frames, silver candelabra, the works. If you love it, then you should have it – my only advice is (and this may be hard to swallow) make the surfaces themselves simple, in other words Rococo is so very 18th century, but one over the top, gilded mirror, all curlicues and abundanza (my word) is even more spectacular when surrounded by clean, simple lines everywhere else.

Here’s an example from my very own home. First you have to realize that I am male, I’m not fussy, I’m highly critical of my own environment (not yours, I promise, I’m never judgmental about how anyone else lives.) My home was once little more than a barn to store baskets made at the basket works across the road and the interior has features of the old building, which is why I call it the Shambles. The interior wall of the living room is the original cedar siding. On a table next to this wall is a wood framed glass tray from an old bar cart. Sitting on the tray are three simple glass candlesticks with beeswax tapers, a mercury glass lawn ornament and an old metal garland covered in teeny silver metal spangles and glass beads. Just enough, not too much.

Where does your home sparkle?


About the author: Ren Campbell has practiced the discipline of architectural interior design for over 30 years. He’s been a University studio instructor and currently consults with individuals on their issues concerning their homes and how they live in them. For House Therapy questions, email [email protected].

Read more of Ren's House Therapy:

HOUSE THERAPY: RELAXING - Jul 05, 2016 03:24PM